Oral Health

What Is Oral Health

Most people think of oral health as just the state of your teeth, but it’s really much more. Oral health affects how you look and how you feel about yourself. You use your mouth to talk, to eat, to express your emotions, and for many other purposes that are vital to your life. But more than that, the health of your mouth affects the health of your whole body. Problems in your mouth can affect your heart, your brain, and your lungs, and other organs. If you are pregnant, your oral health could even affect your unborn child.

Oral health is the condition of your mouth, including: 

  • Your teeth
  • Your gums
  • Your tongue
  • Your throat
  • Your lips
  • Your jaws
  • Your salivary glands
  • Many other parts

Likewise, the heath of your body shows itself in the state of your mouth. By examining your mouth, your doctor can pick up vital clues about other health problems, including:

  • Infections
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Diabetes
  • Bone disease
  • Some forms of cancer

Modern medicine has made great strides in improving oral health in the United States. For instance, Baby Boomers will be the first generation in which most people keep their own teeth for their lifetime. But much work still needs to be done. More than two out of every five Americans suffer from untreated tooth decay. And most adults have at least some gum disease. During middle age, 1 in 7 Americans suffer from severe gum disease, which may threaten the bones underlying the teeth. 

Read on to find out more about oral health and what you can do to take better care of your mouth.

What Causes Oral Health

Risk Factors For Oral Health

Diagnosing Oral Health

Symptoms of Oral Health


Living With Oral Health



Common Treatment

Complementary and Alternative Treatment

Care Guide

When To Contact A Doctor

Questions For Your Doctor

Questions For A Doctor